Outdoor Tech – Lighting Your World

July 8th, 2019

Filed under: Custom Corner

Last month, we wrote about how smart home technology is also being used outside of the home. We presented ideas for how to set up an outdoor music system that adds to your environment, but doesn’t disturb the neighbors. In this article, we’ll explore how one can use smart home tech to enhance your outdoor space by using and controlling outdoor lighting.

Outdoor lighting is not new, but the sophisticated control and myriad of new products give the homeowner even more options to enhance their outdoor space. One of the most popular lighting options is pathway lighting. Properly illuminated walkways and steps will improve safety for people and plants, highlight certain features of your yard, and improve curb appeal. Popular light styles include garden lights, bollards, flush lights, and down lights.

When designing and installing pathway lighting, remember that less is usually more. The most common mistake of too many lights results in your yard looking like an airplane runway. Path lights should be placed 5 feet to 8 feet apart, depending on the bulb or style of light fixture one uses. One of the most versatile lights is the light fixture known as a “bollard.” Originally, the bollard was “a short post used to create a protective or architectural perimeter.” Designers added lights to the post, creating a literal pillar of light as bollard fixtures give a 360-degree spread of light. The path and the whole area around the fixture will be lit, so these lights work best at the beginning and/or end of a path.

One of our favorite bollard style lights combines both lights and speakers in the bollard. The LS Series was developed by Terra Speakers (a division of Ann Arbor’s own Leon Speakers) and comes in 10 inch and 32 inch tall columns. Each Terra bollard includes speakers and a choice of either halo or down-light style of light. Mix and match this bollard with additional outdoor speakers and even add an outdoor subwoofer for expansive full range sound. These bollards are an attractive source of sound and light that can be controlled by the popular Savant and Lutron smart home systems Paragon Integration specialists install every day.

Pathway and decorative outdoor lighting often includes “garden lights,” an 18’ to 24’ tall fixture that shines light on the path and the area around it. Additional lighting options include adjustable spotlights, LED wash lights (to illuminate a building or landscape features), step lights for low level illumination along steps, walls or other vertical surfaces. Newer technology such as programmable LEDs allows one to adjust the brightness and even the color of your landscape lighting, creating new and unique effects.

Bring out your inner Landscape Artist by working with the Paragon experts in lighting design and control. Using our smart controllers, and products like the Terra “sound and light” bollards, you and the Paragon Integration team will create a safe, attractive outdoor space that will be the envy of the neighborhood!

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